Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Lanai Lookout Dive

 A rare opportunity to dive the rugged Kaiwi coast of Oahu. Also, some dolphin come for a visit in Waimea Bay.

If the box above doesn't have the video, you can link to it directly at YouTube here:

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Hawaii Sailing - Episode 1

Here's a quick video recap of what's been going on here in Hawaii. Nearly 1,000 miles of day sailing around Windward Oahu, and some diving too!

If the box above doesn't have the video, you can link to it directly at YouTube here:

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Kuewa's First Pacific Crossing Video

I finally got a couple of rainy days here in Kaneohe which put me in front of the computer to finish the crossing video.

If the box above doesn't have the video, you can link directly to it at YouTube here:

Monday, July 22, 2019

Passage Wrap-Up

It's been more than a week already since Kuewa and I ghosted into Kaneohe Bay on a spectacular Friday morning. The previous 24 hours had been a little tense, with Kuewa's electrical system developing some problems and sleep being hard to come by, sailing within 12 miles of Moloka'i at 9pm as we turned gradually more westward. The wind backed slightly to the north as we made the curve so Kuewa could point straight for Moku Manu, the twin islands at the point before Kaneohe, without my having to jibe the whisker pole again. Because of the electrical problems, the wind vane blade was steering, rather than the autopilot. The vane followed the wind shift, I didn't touch a thing, and Kuewa headed straight for home.

We had been on port jibe, with the jib on the whisker pole out on the port side, main and genoa out to starboard, for 4 days (except for one little test jibe 2 days out). We were making excellent speed, with Kuewa and the autopilot taking off on surfs down some waves at up to 13 knots. I just stood there in the main hatch with a big grin, amazed at the ease with which Kuewa did this without any input from me!

Noodle advised that the high pressure system expanding southward was gong to suck up the wind to our north so the southerly course was the best to stay in the breeze. This brought us to within 47 miles of Pepeekeo Point on the Haumakua coast of the Big Island on Thursday morning, where we jibed and started our curving island tour. The Big Island never did peek out of the clouds, and anyway, we were going so quickly in the solid trade winds that shortly we were within sight of Haleakala on Maui. I was a bit nervous about approaching the islands this way, putting me close to hard things for 30 hours. I came into it a little sleep deprived already, for no other reason than the brain would not shut off long enough to give me complete rest during the previous two days. Prior to that, I had been getting 8 to 10 hours sleep in 24, which was beautiful.

But Noodle's calm advice was spot on. The island tour was so fun, watching all of them peel by so quickly, and that wind shift with the vane following it to aim us right towards home seemed cosmic.

The dawn arrival in the Sampan Channel to Kaneohe Bay was full of emotion. It was so absolutely beautiful, the orange, pink, and yellow sunrise highlighting the spectacular Ko'olau mountains that rise 3,000 feet behind Kaneohe, the gentle wind, the slight swell, and water so clear the coral heads racing by under the keel looked way too close. I knew the channel was 10 feet deep but after years of sailing California's murky waters, it was disconcerting and amazing at the same time. Then Mokupe'a hove into sight with Noodle and Lori aboard. They had gotten up at 4am to come out and greet us. As they approached, Noodle blew the conch shell. Wow! Tears of relief at the success, but mostly from just finally having Kuewa here in my favorite place.

We sailed together all the way up to the Malukai cove, dropped the sails, and motored in to meet my sister Kit and her husband Felipe, who came out in the dinghy and kayak to help tie up to the mooring. The mooring pennant had become wrapped and wouldn't lift easily. We tied temporarily, and I got into my scuba gear and went down and retrieved the pennant. Kuewa was home.

Mokupe'a came alongside, lei, hugs, haupia cream pie, and POG. Thanks Noodle, Lori, Kit and Felipe for the wonderful welcome! Home!

This last week has been a whirlwind of bureaucracy and administrivia and play. Kuewa passed her State inspection but Allstate dropped us like an 8,000 pound mooring block. Kuewa is 46 years old, and lots of insurance companies won't touch that. Changing states triggered Allstate's abandonment. But I found someone who will write both loss and P&I for her. Of course, the boat needs to be surveyed (standard). I haven't found out whether there is an out-of-water component to the survey, which means another dry docking on the other side of the island.

I have hiked Moanalua Valley, walked on Kailua Beach, spent hundreds of dollars already at 2 marine supply stores and on-line for stuff that failed on the crossing (mostly electrical), finished installing seats in the Hawaiian dinghy, worked on the mooring some more, bought a truck, attended two membership interviews at the Kaneohe Yacht Club, helped with one work party at the Kaneohe Yacht Club fixing docks, and sailed the bay three times with family and friends.

The crossing itself was amazing and so much fun! Kuewa performed so very well. The electrical failures were due to my not believing water would find its way into the back of the electrical panel. Twenty years of observation during rainstorms and some rough San Francisco sailing didn't reveal the weakness that allowed a small amount of water in when the boat was tweaked the way she was during the crossing. The amount was so small it didn't pool, but it was enough to fry half the switches and cause bad corrosion. I re-wired stuff underway to keep things going, but by the second-to-last night, pretty much everything had given up, except the AIS and engine starting, which I had wired into separate circuits. The InReach tracker also runs separately provided it can be charged with a USB cable. The solar charge controller malfunctioned on the third day as well but I was able to wire around it to get one leg functional to charge one battery bank. All of this was due to my not recognizing how much waterproofing should have been built into that panel.

The only other real issue was chafe. I replaced the monitor steering lines three times, meaning four sets were used in 2 weeks. Hmmm. And the main topping lift almost chafed through. I caught it in time by doing a masthead inspection with binoculars, and ran a replacement. The mainsail reefing line chafed through at the clew (minor).

Food was very good. I lost no weight during the crossing. I ate pretty much what I eat at home. Sleep was better than expected for the bulk of the trip. The last 4 days were a little tough, caused mostly by unnecessary insomnia. To compensate for the grogginess that finally set in on the last night off Molokai, when I was 16 miles or more from land, I set two alarms in 1-hour sessions, to ensure that I would not run up on shore if the boat changed course for whatever reason. I got 3 solid hours this way and had the energy to scuba dive the mooring immediately after arriving. I've been sleeping a lot since.

The biggest successes were Kuewa's sailing characteristics, the Solent twin headsails, and the Pelagic autopilot (which steers via the Monitor steering vane). What a team! We spent almost half the time with mainsail, 155% genoa, and 100% working jib all set at the same time, giving wonderful downwind sail area. I won't rhapsodize too much further, but just say: 62 year old guy singlehanding a 46 year old boat 2,294 miles in under 15 days (from the Golden Gate Bridge to Sampan Channel buoy one, 14 days, 21 hours). Quite respectable. It was the 46 year old girl who did it all. I feel as though I just stood there in the companionway and watched the whole time. And hung on!

Thank you all so much for following along! It was just so great receiving all your notes and encouragement.

A video is in the works.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

inReach Passage Log Entry #11

Land Ho! Haleakala on Maui 49 miles away. Still 143 miles to Kaneohe so won't arrive until the wee hours of tomorrow morning.
View the location or send a reply to Tony Hoff:
Do not reply directly to this message.
This message was sent to you using the inReach two-way satellite communicator with GPS. To learn more, visit

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

inReach Passage Log Entry #10

Less than 400 miles to go. Thinking about loneliness, how it hasn't been an issue. I know all of you are there following along. Thanks for all your notes!
View the location or send a reply to Tony Hoff:
Do not reply directly to this message.
This message was sent to you using the inReach two-way satellite communicator with GPS. To learn more, visit

Monday, July 8, 2019

inReach Passage Log Entry #9

Flying along with 3 sails set, surfing down tradewind swells. This is what the brochure said it would be like. My 3 tropic birds are still with me, my kia'i.
View the location or send a reply to Tony Hoff:
Do not reply directly to this message.
This message was sent to you using the inReach two-way satellite communicator with GPS. To learn more, visit